In 1780, John Adams wrote to his wife, Abigail, and described “The Science of Government it is my Duty to study” and that “I must study Politics and War that my sons may have liberty to study Painting and Poetry Mathematics and Philosophy”
We elect our representatives to the “People’s House” so that we, The People, can focus on our own families, our priorities and for elected representatives to focus on the politics and to focus on improving our lives.
I mention this considering the last week’s events regarding the election of a new speaker of The House and the 15 attempts it took before the nation had a new speaker of the House and a new Congress.
The process to elect a speaker was seized upon not only by the media with glee but also by a small band of Republican legislators who are under the impression that them and them only are the only patriots and true conservatives out there.
One of the ringleaders, Rep. Lauren Boebert, won her reelection in the midterms by 0.16% of the votes (50.08% vs. 49.92%) in a district that The Cook Report rated as “Solidly Republican.” Congresswoman Boebert voted against the Republican Party 25.3% of the time in the 117th Congress while her ally, Rep. Matt Gaetz, was close behind with voting against the GOP 23.9% of the time. When you vote against your party basically a quarter of the time, you must question who is the “Republican in Name Only / RINO” here.
The more there is a focus on a small band of grandstanding politicians focused on trashing their own party and labelling anyone who dares disagree with them a “RINO,” the less focus there is on the priorities of the people who elected our representatives.
I am reminded of 1994 when the Republicans won the midterms with the “Contract with America” and then spent the next two years allowing a disgraced Democrat President Bill Clinton, mired in scandal, to paint them as obstructionist and him as a moderate voice of reason. Republicans snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and Clinton went on to win comfortably. We must learn that lesson and focus on the priorities of the people while holding the president accountable without allowing him to wiggle out of his responsibilities.
Republicans are already talking about investigating President Joe Biden over multiple issues, including his abject failure in Afghanistan, his son’s “laptop of doom” and now his handling of classified documents.
Just today (Jan. 12), we saw a special counsel appointed by the Justice Department to investigate President Biden over claims he mishandled classified documents, a charge which is causing howls of rage from Democrats, despite the glee they showed when President Donald Trump was also investigated. The Republicans need to ensure that we do not repeat the mistakes of the 1990s and allow President Biden to wiggle out. He must be held accountable.
My concern is, having looked inward this past week, the Republicans do not come together as a united voice and calmly focus on holding this president accountable as well as bringing forward bills to help everyday Americans. We cannot allow ourselves to be painted by the Democrats as being out of touch when it is the Democrats who are out of touch.
A splendid example of how to focus on helping people is the Republicans passing legislation in the House to repeal the Democrats’ scheme to employ an extra 87,000 IRS agents to go tie up small businesses and entrepreneurs in knots over Venmo and PayPal payments of more than $600. The IRS has already admitted they audit more poor taxpayers as it is easier and cheaper than targeting the rich. With everyday Americans feeling the pinch and the economy stuttering, this action is precisely what a Republican Congress should be focused on. We should be challenging the Democrats in the Senate to support this bill, and if they do not, show who is truly being obstructionist and ignoring the priorities of the people.
Just as in 1994 with the “Contract with America,” Speaker Kevin McCarthy campaigned on a “Commitment to America” with four key aims:
• An Economy That’s Strong.
• A Nation That’s Safe.
• A Future That’s Built on Freedom.
• A Government That’s Accountable.
Let’s focus on helping the American people, not ourselves, and ensure the rest of this Congress is on the Commitment to America, not internal political melodrama.
Neil Fitzgerald is an international nonprofit leader having served in the US, UK and Globally for various non profit and charity boards. Neil served as a Conservative Council Member in the UK and as a campaign manager. “Right Here, Right Now” appears Saturdays and rotates among local Republicans.